Function of rhodopsin in temperature discrimination in Drosophila

TitleFunction of rhodopsin in temperature discrimination in Drosophila
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsShen WL, Kwon Y, Adegbola AA, Luo J, Chess A, Montell C
Date Published2011 Mar 11
KeywordsAnimals, Drosophila melanogaster, Drosophila Proteins, Eye Proteins, Larva, Light, Mice, Movement, Mutation, Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate, Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled, Rhodopsin, Rod Opsins, Signal Transduction, Temperature, Thermosensing, TRPC Cation Channels

Many animals, including the fruit fly, are sensitive to small differences in ambient temperature. The ability of Drosophila larvae to choose their ideal temperature (18°C) over other comfortable temperatures (19° to 24°C) depends on a thermosensory signaling pathway that includes a heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein (G protein), a phospholipase C, and the transient receptor potential TRPA1 channel. We report that mutation of the gene (ninaE) encoding a classical G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), Drosophila rhodopsin, eliminates thermotactic discrimination in the comfortable temperature range. This role for rhodopsin in thermotaxis toward 18°C was light-independent. Introduction of mouse melanopsin restored normal thermotactic behavior in ninaE mutant larvae. We propose that rhodopsins represent a class of evolutionarily conserved GPCRs that are required for initiating thermosensory signaling cascades.

Alternate JournalScience
PubMed ID21393546
Grant ListGM085335 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States